Folk rocker Steve Forbert performs Saturday night at Duling Hall. Image: Jay Blakesberg

by Sherry Lucas

My favorite image of Steve Forbert is always going to be that time he played in the rain at Jubilee!JAM — the consummate performer — to just a handful of diehard folks who stuck it out. I was one of them, and I probably speak for all of us in that tight-knit batch huddled in doorways along Capitol Street when I say that, in the balance of awesome music and dreary weather, his tunes will always tip the scales.

We were rewarded, not only with Steve’s songs, but also the unbridled spirit of a young girl who twirled in the rain on the street in front of the stage, delighting us all — Steve included.

No worries this weekend. The folk rocker with Meridian roots will be on the stage indoors at Duling Hall Saturday night, and even without the surprise of a tiny rain dancer, the rewards will be bountiful, trust me.

Elsewhere, 2019 is revving up with arts and music and laughs and lectures and all kind of fun out there.

Funny for the Free!, with a 7 p.m door and 8/8:15 p.m. show Wednesday at Offbeat, kicks off 2019 with lots of laughs with the likes of TaShe E’Lan, Toya Free, Rita Brent, Comedian LL, Nardo Blackmon, Merc B. Williams scheduled to appear. True to the title, it’s free of charge, and donations (which go directly to Offbeat) are encouraged. Come, bring a friend and a grin.

Liverpool Legends, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Thalia Mara Hall, finds four musician-actors — handpicked by the late George Harrison’s sister, Louise Harrison — bringing the look and spirit of the Fab Four to the stage with songs spanning early Beatles classics through Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road. Find tickets, $49 to $64-plus, at ticketmaster.com.

HRC Mississippi Connect Happy Hour, 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Fenian’s Pub, is a meet-and-greet of HRC staff, volunteers and local LGBTQ and ally community members to discuss important work in the fight for equality and also relax and mingle in a safe place to gather to deepen and strengthen bonds.

Talk about a killer show! Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Lee Lewis brings his potent piano prowess to the Hilton Jackson Ballroom for a fundraiser for Richard Spooner for Sheriff, 8 p.m. Friday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Find tickets, $49.50-$250, at ticketfly.com.

Jerry Lee Lewis performs Friday night at the Hilton Jackson. Image: ardenland

Visiting artist Emily Simmons leads workshops Saturday at 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum, for kids to stretch their imagination and create found object architecture. The program is included in general admission and museum membership.

Emily Simmons is the visiting artist Saturday at the Mississippi Children’s Museum. Image: Mississippi Children’s Museum

Black Jacket Symphony presents Queen’s “A Night at the Opera,” featuring Marc Martel, in a note-for-note, sound-for-sound recreation of the classic album live, plus a full set of Queen’s greatest hits, 8 p.m. Saturday at Thalia Mara Hall. Find tickets, $25-$35, at ticketfly.com.

Black Jacket Symphony brings Queen’s “A Night at the Opera” to Jackson Saturday. Image: Rob Hereth

Get in a new year art fix at Saturday’s opening reception for Interstice,” a 2019 senior art exhibition of works by Victoria Sewell, Michael Dubinski and Lydia J. Mathis, 2-4 p.m. at Belhaven University, in the gallery at the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center on campus.

An opening reception for a senior art exhibition is Saturday at Belhaven University. Image: David Sprayberry

Captivating folk-rocker Steve Forbert, a Meridian native, returns to his home state for a can’t-miss Saturday night show at Duling Hall, with an 8 p.m. start and a 7 p.m. door. Grayson Capps gets things started. Forbert comes well-armed with decades of storytelling in song, with the folk, rock and Americana that always finds a cozy home in Jackson. This show comes on the heels of his memoir “Big City Cat: My Life in Folk Rock” and evocative new album “The Magic Tree.” Tickets are $20 advance (ticketfly.com) and $25 day of show.

Beautiful music in a cozy, intimate setting — it’d be tough to resist the charms of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart by Candlelight, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Belhaven University Center for the Arts. Violinist Stephen Redfield, a music professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, is a guest soloist for the concert. Get tickets for this popular evening, $22 adults and $5 students, at msorchstra.com or by calling 601-960-1565.

Mozart by Candlelight is Saturday at Belhaven University Center for the Arts. Image: Communication Arts Co.

After about eight years of podcasting, Reality Breached reached Episode No. 100, and the celebration that’s in order, Rebre’s Episode #100 Live Panel, is 7-9 p.m. Saturday at Offbeat. Special guests on the panel and possible audience participation make this a truly shared experience.

Uptown Saturdays at ISH, 9 p.m. Saturday, features Clinton Babers live, and welcomes sororities celebrating Founders’ Day in January and SWAC fans from Jackson State and Alcorn State.

Join the Official Jackson Indie Music Week 2019 Kick-Off Party, 6-9 p.m. Sunday at Lucky Town Brewing Company, with performances by Josias, Codetta South and Vitamin Cea. This is the event’s fourth year that features a week of concerts, panels and showcases all around Jackson. An all-event pass is $45, and a day pass is $20 on eventbrite.com.

Eat up delicious dinner and fun dinner theater, 6-9 p.m. Monday at Char (Highland Village in LeFleur East) for a Murder Mystery Dinner from the Detectives Comedy Dinner Theatre. The three-course prix fixe menu and the show is $49 a person (plus tax and gratuity). Seating and cocktails are at 6 p.m. with dinner and the show at 7 p.m. Make a reservation by emailing brittany.moses@amerigo.net.

“Reel” Mississippi, 7 p.m. Tuesday at Millsaps College’s Ford Academic Complex in the Recital Hall, showcases and celebrates the history of filmmaking in the state, as former and current directors of the Mississippi Film Office discuss the titles that’ve taken our home to screens both big (“This Property Is Condemned,” “Mississippi Masala,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” “My Dog Skip” and more) and small (Lifetime’s “Bring It!,” HGTV’s “Hometown”). Mississippi Film Office director Nina Parikh will moderate the panel that includes Walterine Odom, state Sen. John Horhn and Ward Emling. The program’s at 7 p.m.; tickets are $10.

Sherry Lucas, a features writer in Jackson for the last 35 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a curated sampling of creativity and culture from across the metro area. For additional Fondren events, see our online calendar here. Reach Sherry at sherry@finditinfondren.com.

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